Movie of the Week: ‘Me and You and Everyone We Know’

“Me and You and Everyone We Know” (2005) – Writer/director Miranda July’s movie features a collection of characters trying to make their way through each day in modern-day Los Angeles.  As the film ends, it’s not easy to sum up the meaning of the rich connections and off-kilter story lines, but July is a master at turning ordinary events into fascinating ones.

The two main souls plodding through life on their daily journeys are Christine (July) and Richard (John Hawkes). They aren’t a couple, although Christine hopes they will someday become one.

She’s a lonely contemporary artist who specializes in videotaping still photos while voicing over her perception of the images (like a sunset or a concert audience). Unfortunately, art galleries haven’t featured Christine’s work just yet, so she pays the bills by driving the elderly around on errands.  She enjoys the company of her new older friends, especially 70-something Michael (Hector Elias), but Christine is desperate for a relationship and actively pursues Richard, a department store shoe salesman.

But he’s a mess.

Richard (John Hawkes) and Christine (Miranda July)

Richard’s wife threw him out of the house, he and his two kids – Peter (Miles Thompson) and Robby (Brandon Ratcliff) – move into a small one-bedroom apartment and his left hand remains heavily bandaged after an accident.

With his hair terribly in need of a comb and his expressions reflecting a general state of confusion, Richard looks like he’s not prepared for a relationship, but instead, he could be on the brink of a nervous breakdown.

A perfect match?

No, but loneliness is a powerful incentive.

Richard (Hawkes) and Christine (July)

The story doesn’t only focus on Christine and Richard. Peter, a high school student, explores sexual territories, and two mean girls, Heather (Natasha Slayton) and Rebecca (Najarra Townsend) try to find their footing into adulthood as well.  Robby proves to be too smart for his own good, and Sylvie (Carlie Westerman) is a sweet girl who collects kitchen appliances.

July provides a stage for some sympathetic moments, but very funny and genuinely uncomfortable scenes dot the landscape too.

Throughout the quirky storylines and all the travels of the on-screen players, maybe life isn’t as mysterious as we project.

Perhaps we are all trying to get through each day or “just passing the time.”

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Directed and written by: Miranda July

Starring: Miranda July, John Hawkes, Miles Thompson, and Hector Elias

Runtime: 91 minutes

Rated: R

Image credits: IFC Films

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